Home > News

Looking to Relocate?

More info

Business Parks

More info

ABB officially opens new centre of excellence in Napier

Article Index
Kate de Lautour

New world class research and development centre and factory providing power protection and conversion products to a global market.


Auckland, New Zealand, March 14, 2013 – ABB, the leading power and automation technology company, is this morning officially opening its new 6500 square metre research and development centre and factory in the Hawke’s Bay Airport Business Park in Napier.


ABB’s Napier business has global responsibility for a range of highly innovative power protection and power conversion products which they design, manufacture and sell globally. Products range from leading edge voltage conditioners that are used to protect some of the world largest semiconductor (silicon chip) manufacturing plants, through to frequency converters allowing ships to connect to shore power while at port, saving fuel and reducing pollution.


This significant investment in times of global economic uncertainty reinforces the importance of the Napier based design and manufacturing operation to ABB’s international power electronics business.


The growth in ABB’s business that is signalled by the new Hawke’s Bay facility is not only good news for the local economy but also the New Zealand research, design and manufacturing sector as a whole, says Grant Gillard, Managing Director of ABB New Zealand. “ABB is very committed to New Zealand with three manufacturing plants and over 700 people employed. Although we only make up a small percentage of ABB’s 145,000 employee global work force, we are very proud to be recognised as a centre for innovation and a major export earner for New Zealand.”


John Penny, General Manager of ABB’s Napier based global business is particularly proud of the new facility.  John says, “Napier has a long legacy of excellence in power electronics stretching back around 30 years.  The new Napier ABB facility secures Napier’s position as a true global centre of excellence for our specialty designs.  Many people are surprised to hear that we sell electronic products from Napier to protect some of the world’s largest electronics factories that make the silicon chips and displays found on the latest smart phones and tablet computers.” 


ABB’s new site was blessed this morning in a dawn ceremony by several Kaumātua from Ngāti Kahungunu. The facility will be officially opened by local Member of Parliament and Minister of Internal Affairs and Local Government, Chris Tremain, followed by an address from Minister of Commerce, Craig Foss.


ABB (www.abb.com) is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve their performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people.

For help with any technical terms in this release, please go to: www.abb.com/glossary

For more information please contact:




ABB Limited:

Tracey Paver

ABB Communications

021 485771

[email protected]






  • ABB acquired the Napier based power electronics company Vectek Electronics in May 2008.
  • Since the acquisition, the business has expanded rapidly and now has around 130 employees.
  • The construction work was completed by Arrow International (NZ) Limited. Arrow engaged local consultants Paris Magdalinos Architects and Strata Group Engineers to deliver this facility under a design and build construction contract.
  • ABB’s building is the flagship site on the Hawkes Bay Airport Business Park.
  • ABB, which celebrates 80 years in New Zealand in 2013 employs over 700 people nationwide and has three manufacturing plants.
  • The Dawn blessing was held at 6am this morning by a group of Kaumātua from Ngāti Kahungunu. This was overseen by Ngahiwi Tomoana. Ngahiwi Tomoana is the chairman of Ngāti Kahungunu Iwi Incorporated and Te Ohu Kaimoana Ltd.